Disabled fundraiser Claire Lomas MBE has set herself a new motorcycling challenge after her plan to ride a lap of the TT course at the Manx Grand Prix was cancelled by event organisers due to concerns about her safety and experience.
Claire, who was paralysed from the chest down by a riding accident on a cross-country course 11-years-ago, will now be riding a lap of all nine circuits on the British Superbike calendar aboard a specially-adapted Suzuki SV 650.
Understandably disappointed by the cancellation of her first challenge, which was set to go ahead on August 29, Claire turned to Twitter in search of a replacement charitable activity.
It was here that series and race director of the British Superbike Championship, Stuart Higgs, first made contact.
“It all just happened from Twitter, really. Obviously, I was disappointed, because I was geared up to go to the Isle of Man, but I’m so appreciative of this opportunity,” says Claire
The Silverstone round of this year’s championship will be Claire’s first lap, which takes place over the weekend of 7 – 9 September.
Claire had her first taste of motorcycling after her accident through the charity The Bike Experience, who help disabled riders get back on two wheels.
“I differed from most people who use the charity because I had never ridden a bike before,” explains Claire. “I have enjoyed it, and learning a new thing gets more fun as I get better. Imagine learning to ride something you can’t feel underneath you and then someone comes along and straps you onto it. It’s quite daunting. Rockingham Motor Speedway has been very generous, as they let me go there to practice before I had my ACU racing licence. They also let me use the infield to practice my slow manoeuvres.”
Claire has already raised a whopping £660,000 and is doing this latest challenge in aid of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, The Bike Experience and the Matt Hampson Foundation.
To donate, simply visit the Just Giving page on www.claireschallenge.co.uk
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